The Muse, a DNF review

The Muse by Jessie Burton is a historical fiction that was on my tbr since around 2016. Slightly ridiculous, so when I pulled this out of the tbr jar I knew I had to finally give it a shot. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a success and I ended up DNFing this 😢

Don’t get me wrong, this book has a fascinating concept. It is set in two time periods. The 30s and the 60s. In the 30s we’re following a young white woman who is an artist but her father doesn’t believe women can paint. In the 60s we’re following a young Black woman who has moved to the UK from Trinidad and is trying to earn a living in a racist society.

There were some racist slurs used within this book, and Burton also writes certain sections in Trinidadian Creole, I had been concerned about this being a racist portrayal. However, I found some positive reviews from own voices reviewers about this depiction being surprisingly accurate. Just something to consider as you read.

Unfortunately, despite the concept of the book being interesting it just didn’t spark with me and I kept really struggling to pick the book up. This was my first foray back into historical fiction (that wasn’t fantastical or a reread) after a long while, and unfortunately this doesn’t seem like the choice for me.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 7, Atmosphere: 6, Writing: 6, Plot: 6, Intrigue: 6, Logic: 6, and Enjoyment: 3 giving a score of 5.71 and a 3* rating.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: sexism, racism, racial slurs, sexual content.

This was definitely a big disappointment for me, partly because it had been sat on my tbr for so long! I’m still debating whether I’m going to return to this in the future or if the book is going to be rehomed. I’m leaning more towards rehoming the book, because I think it could find a lot of love!

Have you read The Muse, or anything else by Jessie Burton? What did you think of the read??